Hailing from a small village in Rajkot, Gujrat, Mr. Kamlesh Zapadiya was a primary school teacher. In 2014, he was inspired by the format of Kaun Banega Crorepati and decided to convert the entire syllabus of grades I to X into a quiz format. Due to electricity and network issues, he travelled 20 km each day to get his laptop and phone connected with internet and started to dig deep into alternate education methods, tools, online tutorials etc.
Q.1. How did you go about starting Edusafar? What were the initial key challenges (if any)?
It was in 2007 when I got acquainted with the internet and began researching on various methods of teaching students. However, living in a village was an added challenge as I had to frequently face electricity issues and ride 20-25 kms on my bicycle to a cyber-café. In 2012, I with few friends decided to start a blog page. As time went on, teachers from various parts of Gujarat showed interest and chose to join us. We were eager to reach more students, but unfortunately, we didn’t have the appropriate tools. Nevertheless, we managed with what we had and reached students through teachers, who joined us. We began to collate the appropriate study materials in the form of PDF files, excel sheets and basic posts. It was quite challenging, as accumulating these materials was not an easy task due to lack of internet and other resources. Over time as we created the Edusafar website, even more teachers joined us. We then started building video content and our first video was for the preparation of the CCC/CCC+ government exam i.e. the Computer Courses exams, annually held in Gujarat. We began uploading them on YouTube without realizing its benefits. In the next year, 2015, we began working on our YouTube channel seriously and since then we have been uploading videos on various competitive exams.
Q.2. When did you feel the need to develop the Edusafar App?
Initially when we began creating videos for the CCC exams, we didn’t have a YouTube channel to upload them. We would therefore ask the teachers to save our contact number and would spend almost 2-3hours in sending the videos via WhatsApp. Once sent, we would delete it from our devices as we required space for new videos. When a new teacher or student would request us for those videos, we would reach out to the teachers we had already sent it to and ask them to send it back to us. However, over time we realized that this method was tedious and wasn’t working well because we wouldn’t receive the videos back. This is when I realized the need of an application that would be accessible by all. We developed the Edusafar App with the help of a friend and categorized content according to courses, subjects and topics. The app was built keeping in mind the interface of messenger, that was easy to download and use. Then, we began uploading all our study materials and video content on our app itself and developed it even more to be user friendly.
Q.3. Who are the key users of your content? Is all your content free of cost or do you charge some amount?
Since we began uploading competitive exams’ content, most of our audience were either government teachers or students who had completed their 12th and were preparing for those exams. So, we started making content including GK, Current affairs and topics required to prepare for the respective exams. All the content on Edusafar is currently free of cost. We plan on making some chargeable content soon though. We will be pricing it at a minimum range so everyone can afford and get benefit from it. The objective behind chargeable content is to pay a small amount to the faculty we hire to make the educational video content without compromising on the quality and to create beneficial study material for students.
Q.4. Would NEP 2020 affect Edusafar in the near future? Are there any new innovations or teaching methodologies adopted during this lockdown period?
According to me, NEP is introducing skill-based exams and study materials that we are already working with. So, there wouldn’t be any major change or effect on Edusafar. However, we will definitely try to improve the quality of our content and introduce some more skill-based videos or courses for students interested in computer-based programs like Excel, Corel Draw, Power Point etc.
Talking about activities during this lockdown period, we are working on skill-based courses that would take a while to implement. So right now, during lockdown, since schools haven’t completely re-opened, we have hired teachers to make new engaging and interactive videos for students and will be uploading them on our YouTube channel as well as App. With that said, we haven’t adopted any new innovation or different methodology as such, but we will be uploading new videos for primary as well as secondary school students.
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